About the Village

Beach's Sawmill

Upper Canada Village's Beach's Sawmill This simple, frame structure houses a single, water-driven vertical saw. It is a typical example of a small country sawmill of the first half of the 19th century, which provided its local population with all their needs in sawn lumber. Prior to the erection of a sawmill, all lumber was "pit sawn". It required two men, one in a pit and another standing on the log above him working a long two handed saw. The man below pulled the saw down along and the method was slow and back breaking to produce lumber. Community mills imitated the vertical sawing action of the pit saw. The men were replaced by a frame to support the saw blade. Later a style of blade called the muley saw was designed to eliminate the frame, and this is the type of saw working in this mill.

The sawmill provided for all the wood needs of the village, and in fact was often the first public building to be erected in a pioneer community. Early settlers had a constant need for lumber; not just planks for building houses, but also wood for furniture, barrels, guns, and wagons. Like the flour mill, the sawmill was powered by water. Water was gathered by damming a stream to create a millpond. This water was then directed against a power wheel, which operated the saw.

Beach's Sawmill was capable of producing 2000 feet of board in 24 hours. The availability of wood enabled the community to grow quickly, and encourage trade. The miller kept half the wood that was brought in, and sold it to other businesses.

Today, the old sawmill produces planks (more than 2 inches thick) or boards (less than two inches thick) for use in the Village and for sale to the public.

Upper Canada Village

13740 County Road 2
Morrisburg, ON, K0C 1X0

Get Social!